The Federal Court has advertised for people interested in being selected as a Prothonotary. In other Prothonotary news, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Justice released his report last week containing recommendations for Prothonotary compensation.
According to the release (PDF), the Federal Court is looking for “candidates for a pool of potential future prothonotary positions in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.” The deadline for applications is September 26, 2013. Some of the selection criteria (PDF) identified are having at least 10 years of professional experience, a thorough knowledge of the Rules of the Federal Court, and a willingness to travel.
The Honourable Douglas Cunningham, appointed as a Special Advisor on Federal Court Prothonotaries’ Compensation issued his report last week (PDF) after receiving oral and written submissions (including from members of the IP bar) earlier this year. Mr. Cunningham concluded that:
After a careful consideration of the responsibilities of Prothonotaries, their status and of course the fact that they are judicial officers, I conclude and recommend that their salaries be fixed at 80% of the salaries of Federal Court judges. (p23)
The recommendations also included an improved pension system and long term disability and sick coverage.
A previous special advisor, the Honourable George W. Adams, Q.C., made recommendations, including a salary at 80% of a judge’s salary, which were rejected by the government as being excessive in view of the economic situation it was facing in 2008/2009. The government’s decision to reject the recommendations was challenged unsuccessfully in the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal (2009 FC 861 and 2010 FCA 195).
It is not clear when the government will respond to the recommendations. [Update: According to a report in The Lawyers Weekly, the government has four months to official respond to the report.]
The Chief Justice has issued a series of oral directions indicating that Prothonotary Aronovitch is on sabbatical from August 16, 2013 to December 30, 2013. For cases which she was case managing, it appears from a review of the docket entries that most proceedings were transferred Justice Manson and some transferred to Prothonotary Tabib and Prothonotary Morneau for case management.